Skip to the bottom of this review to read the transcript of an interview with the band where they absolutely fucking roast Cary (Percussion) for saying that canned cranberries are an underrated American Thanksgiving dish. Now without further adieu (lots of further adieu, sorry. Adieu).
I've been spending God knows how many hours on the phone lately with customer service, for every service, hours and hours. It's basically along the lines of 'let's help you, with a twist!' Whatever your problem may be you'll be shown how you don't actually have a problem, from their perspective. It's sorta like hearing, “oh you're decapitated? Having your head attached to your body is just an urban legend anyway” at the hospital.
Anyway (anyways for our North American readers!), months after moving flats I STILL have a semi-hidden-cache of boxes full of stuff, my precious precious stuff, under my bed. This means I have nowhere to hide in an emergency. It also means my motivational posters can't be put up and out, action figures can't be posed and even books can't be displayed to prove to people I can read. Life, at times it's stressful but even more so when you realize what's causing your stress, is out of your control. You live in London though, music Mecca so if you're missing out on tons of live music, it's probably your fault. I aim to fix that tonight by taking back MY life with my tiny claw like fingers. No pressure.
Go to bed is pretty much synonymous with my childhood. Every night I'd hear the shrill voice of my mother ringing throughout the suburban nightmare I lived in, floating up the basement stairs like a demented slinky in reverse. Sure, that sounds cool, but could only ever really exist in a bizzaro world, gravity's a harsh mistress. Anyway(s) to subdue my near-breakdown like vibes I'm probably spewing out into the galaxy at present The Islington claps back in a virtual noise canceling frequency baptizing me back into the fold with warm lighting, framed rock and pop icons draped in well, drapes. I instantly feel my stress melt away while a tide of nostalgia for a furnished flat ebbs in to take its place. To my left at the end of the table are the @GoToBeds, I'm teetering between leaving them alone and talking to them (a.k.a. ruining their good time). I go for the former hedging my bets that I'll be able to sink a quick word in after their set.
The Pittsburgh natives practically crawl onto the stage after the opening acts clear out. Each is armed with 2 drinks and Eli (Guitar/Vocals) trailing behind them all with 4 shots of something dark and murky. The stage is now set and Gavin (Bass/Vocals) belts out, 'we're here to confirm all your American stereotypes' he's a riot, along with the rest of the boys, throughout their the set. They start off with 'Affection' and I'm instantly affected. The Bass pedal on 11 coupled with the thronging of the bass sets the tone, it's somehow both pushing and pulling back through your chest. The blown out stage and thread bare carpet along with the bands playing style reminded me of Scott Pilgrim's rehearsal space. House party basement vibes for days and days, keep that nostalgia coming.
Their enjoyable stage presence started off with a warm up bass line from Metallica's 'Enter Sandman' (a personal fave) which I question and get a response from Gavin of, 'Yeah it is, good ole American music!'. Coupled with grimy and grungy appearances, each member sports a shirt faded complete with holes and rungs of sweat that cling instead of rolling off. The whole affair reeked of tepid water that hotdogs have been cooked in all day, unapologetically, crashed over me in waves for the duration of their performance. Their energy was infectious, like hot dogs, and their stage presence feels like an inside joke the whole set through, like hot dogs? The set is chaos, guitars come unplugged, balance is lost, lyrics and songs get all fucked up and most importantly everyone is drunk (full blast admission via Tom Payne [Guitarist] who pirouettes repeatedly at speed and remarkably keeps his balance and form (instead of eating stage). No one is taking anything too seriously and it's exactly the lesson I need to take away from this. It works.
I can't remember whether it was Eli or Gavin, but I suspect Gavin, who announces, 'we have a tradition called half time' it basically means they stop playing and pound back whatever drinks they can get their hands on. Watching them play is like watching yourself when you think no one is looking, really givin-er, full air guitar style in front of the mirror which is exactly why it's so cool, it's in us, it's in front of us, it's relatable. I like the borish-line-cutter-at-the-super-market vibes I'm getting off their tunes. Before I know it the set is over with 'Ipso Facto' which is dedicated to some dude that's already blown this taco-stand. Gavin closes out the thrashfest by draping Eli with the 'Upset The Rhythm' banner a la James Brown, over the shoulders of our tiny prince. I want more though so I approach Gavin for an interview. The dude, like the rest of the bandmates, outside of Tom who has a momentary lapse in courage but comes back strong in the end, are well up for a chin-wag. Gavin, 'does your blog have, let's say, a budget?' Captain: 'God no, besides, I think you're getting bribery wrong, shouldn't you be trying to butter me up so I say nice things?' Gavin:'Touche'. I watch the band disassemble their gear without offering to help as I'm lost in thought. I was stressed out and wound up before the night's festivities but after watching the GoToBeds I'm definitely feeling unwound a cathartic resurrection bringing me back to my normal (for me) self, thanks gang. Feel like getting back to your normal self? Maybe you just feel like getting weird and watching these steely Pittsburghites do their thang-thang out of perverse curiosity? You won't go wrong for doing so, you CAN'T go wrong, they'll beat you to that punchline and then some with seemingly boundless energy. If you miss their last tour date in the Netherlands make it your New Year resolution to catch-em back in the States. This is your Captain speaking, prepare for interview.
Captain: So you guys started off your tour in Italy recently, is that correct?
Unanimously: Yeah yeah yeah yeah.
Captain: Okay, so, Italian food, does it live up to the hype? OR, would you prefer Olive Garden's unlimited soup, salad and bread sticks instead?
Audible Sigh: Very audible sigh.
Cary: I like Olive Garden.
Eli: Olive Garden, god damn, bread sticks?
Gavin: No, Italian food's better.
Cary: We found the one Olive Garden in Bologna believe it or not and it was exaaaaactly the same.
Cary is completely deadpan when delivering this line, he's not blinking, it doesn't look like he's EVER blinked.
Captain: I don't know if you're joking.
un-phased Cary (or Tom) just carry on
Cary or Tom: Thing is they make their own pasta in the Italian Olive Garden, in Italy.
Everyone starts laughing, I nervously join in too.
Gavin or Tom: Oh yeah, Bologna, amazing food, the most amazing food I've had the whole trip.
Captain: And super dangerous from what I hear.
The GoToBeds: So are we, so you know, they're tracking with us (I think they said tracking, American AmIRight?)
Captain: Sticking on the food scene, am I correct in thinking you're not making it back in time for Thanksgiving, that's this Thursday right?
GoToBeds: Nooo NOOOO, unfortunately we'll be in Amsterdam., what is this a food blog?
Captain: Answer Censored, if you're reading this guys, which why would you be? Don't tell anyone what I said.
GoToBeds: Audible laughing at my answer, a laugh that feels my pain.
Captain: Most underrated Thanksgiving food, go!
Straight out the gate:
Gavin: Green Bean Casserole!
Captain: Gravy is a food?
More such similar questions on the gravy front from the band.
Captain: Any special way they're prepared?
Tom: Nothing special about them.
Here is where shit kicks the fuck off.
Cary: (in the most mid-western-American-accent you can imagine) Ciaaaned Cryanberries.
A relentless volley of hatred is spewed IMMEDIATELY with dead aim attacking, and striking, it's victim Cary dead-on. All this because of cranberries let me give you the gist because it was near impossible to transcribe the shit-storm sandwich our man here was fed:
Everyone except Cary: Gross/Fuck-you/get fucked/I'm not spending my Thanksgiving with you/Jesus Christ (it's almost Christmas cover your fucking ears Jesus!!!)
Cary: Ooooooooo OOOOH I'm sorry I didn't come from a Riiyaich Family like you.
Someone: They're a fucking dollar a bag man!
Captain: How am I going to transcribe this (lots of fucking whooo wooo ooos).